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The Biz Roundup 12-7

Christopher Dodd says Wagoner must go. Barack Obama says it’s time to put an end to decades of “head in the sand” management at GM. GM (Got Money?) replies, “What head? We got a head?” :: In a statement, a GM spokesman said the company “appreciates” Sen. Dodd’s comments but added GM’s employees, dealers, suppliers and its Board of Directors “all support Rick Waggoner and are confident he is the person to lead GM through these difficult times.” (Wall Street Journal, December 7, 2008) If it ain’t obvious already, that “confident he is the person to lead GM” crack should show you the board needs some serious shaking out, as well.

What happens when the news goes out of business redux. :: “Tribune has been hobbled by debt related to that sale last year, which has been compounded by the growing drought of advertising for newspapers.” (New York Times, December 7, 2008) A couple days ago it was the Star Tribune, now the Tribune company, which owns three of the best newspapers in the country: Chicago Tribune, LA Times, Baltimore Sun. And so unnecessary: most of the debt that’s “hobbling” the Tribune was incurred in Sam Zell’s acquisition of the company. Some folks say old media doesn’t get it. Okay, I’ll buy that, but Pink? Andrew Sullivan? Drudge? Huffington Post? K-Lo? Do you really want crazy to be the new thirty?

Leave home without it. :: “The Federal Reserve said Friday that consumer borrowing fell by $3.6 billion in October to $2.578 trillion from an upwardly revised $2.581 trillion in September . . . Credit card borrowing, or revolving debt, declined at an annual rate of 0.2%. Non-revolving borrowing, including student and auto loans, fell $3.4 billion dollars, or 2.5% on an annual basis.” (CNN Money, December 7) Believe it or not, the decline surprised just about everyone. Look for these numbers to continue to decline each month until the middle of next year (except for December and January). You heard it here first.

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